24 Pull Requests 2016
In December 80 people gathered at Makers Academy for a day of contributing to open-source projects. Participants were paired with mentors to submit pull requests to a curated selection of projects that need community help.
We learnt from last year that 7 hours of contributing is a lot of work for both coaches and students so this year we decided to do things slightly different by splitting the day up with more talks.
The day started with a talk from Andrew Nesbitt, the founder of 24 Pull Requests. He talked us through how it started and how every day throughout December you open an advent calendar and eat chocolate so why not open a pull request too?
Then we had talks from 2 of our sponsors, Pixeled Eggs and Softwire. Last year we learnt that people did not necessarily stick to doing PRs in one language, so we changed things up a little bit. Instead of the normal 2:1 student-coach ratio we decided to have a few coaches dedicated to each language scattered around the room. Students were able to freely move around the room getting support in their chosen language. We also wanted to encourage participants to help other participants and not just rely on mentors for support.
Rather than jumping straight into more coding after lunch we decided to have a few lightning talks focused on life in the open-source world. First up was Charlotte Spencer, who discussed how you can get involved in open-source. The main take-away was that you are the number one priority. If you’re not feeling well or if you’re tired (input other feeling here), you don’t need to contribute. It should be something that you do because you want to, not because you have to. Up next was Adam Morse who spoke about his experiences in open-source and how putting your work (and yourself) out there can be terrifying but is also super rewarding. And you’ll learn loads in the process. He also spoke about all the great people he has met in tech world through open-source that he wouldn’t have met otherwise.
After these 2 inspiring talks we went back to contributing. We had a quick break for a surprise birthday sing-a-long for fellow codebar organiser Denise… who looked mortified. Sorry Denise, it’s because we love you.
We finished the day with some custom beers by Small Beer Brewing Company which even had custom labels just for our event.
I want to finish by saying a big thank you to all of our sponsors; Multicolour, Softwire and Pixeled Eggs, without them this event would not have been possible. Another big thank you to Makers Academy for letting us use their incredible venue for the day. A thank you to our fellow organisers Ladies of Code and 24 Pull Requests, who were a pleasure to work with as always. And finally, a massive thank you to every single participant and mentor on the day who made this event incredible.